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February 20, 2013

Air Products to supply four ASUs to Lu’An Mining

Gerald Ondrey

Air Products’ (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; pursuit and success in developing large air separation unit (ASU) projects in China has been bolstered with the winning of the second-largest ASU onsite order ever awarded to the company for a single project. Air Products announced today the signing of a long-term agreement with Shanxi Lu’An Mining (Group) Co. for Air Products to build, own and operate four ASUs producing oxygen, nitrogen, compressed instrument air and steam to supply Lu’An’s multiple process trains at its coal-gasification facility to be built in Changzhi City, Shanxi Province, China.

Air Products’ four ASUs will combine to supply over 10,000 ton/d of oxygen, more than 6,000 ton/d of nitrogen, and over 700 ton/d of instrument air. The first of the four ASUs is targeted for onstream in July 2015. The remaining three are to be operational at one month intervals with the final ASU scheduled for commercial operation in October 2015.

“It’s been our strategy to pursue large ASU projects in the high-growth, China coal-gasification market, and this four plant configuration represents Air Products’ second largest project ever for a single on-site order. This is another key win and important project for Air Products as we continue to grow our relationship with the major coal groups in China,” says Steve Jones, Air Products’ China president. China has significant coal reserves to produce syngas from the coal and then convert the syngas into fuel, chemicals, and fertilizers. At Lu’An’s Changzhi City facility, the coal to liquids project will produce mainly diesel fuel and derivatives. Air Products’ ASU trains will include design enhancements to minimize operating costs through energy efficiency. Technology advancements and other productivity improvements support Air Products’ overall sustainability goals of reducing energy consumption and emissions.

The Lu’An win is Air Products’ eighth major investment supporting the gasification segment and the second supporting the coal to liquid sub-segment in China. Once all the projects under construction are completed, Air Products will have 18 ASUs supplying large tonnage quantities of industrial gases to Chinese gasification facilities. Among these projects being built by Air Products is the largest single on-site ASU ever awarded to an industrial gas company. The facility will be owned and operated by Air Products in Yulin, Shaanxi Province, China. It will include multiple ASU trains and produce 12,000 ton/d of oxygen and significant tonnage volumes of nitrogen and compressed dry air for a coal chemical plant. The facility is to be commercial in 2014.

Lu’An Mining is ranked as one of China’s top 100 companies and is ranked eighth in the Chinese coal industry. Founded in 1959, Lu’An Mining is a Shanxi provincial state-owned, coal-mining conglomerate with coal mining as its base business and extensions into segments of coal to power, coking, liquids and chemicals.



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